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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
×

REVIEW OF DOE’S NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Committee on Review of DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report and the study on which it is based were supported by Contract No. DE-AT01-06NE64158 (Task Order No. 15) from the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
×

COMMITTEE ON REVIEW OF DOE’S NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

ROBERT FRI, Chair,

Resources for the Future

R. STEPHEN BERRY,

NAS,1 University of Chicago

DOUGLAS M. CHAPIN,

NAE,2 MPR Associates, Inc.

GREGORY R. CHOPPIN,

Florida State University

MICHAEL L. CORRADINI,

NAE, University of Wisconsin

JAMES R. CURTISS,

ESQ., Winston and Strawn LLP

JAMES W. DALLY,

NAE, University of Maryland

VICTOR GILINSKY, Independent Consultant

MUJID S. KAZIMI,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SALOMON LEVY,

NAE, Levy & Associates

ALLISON M. MACFARLANE,

George Mason University

REGIS A. MATZIE,

Westinghouse Electric Company

WARREN F. MILLER, JR.,

NAE, Texas A&M University

DAVID L. MORRISON,

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (retired)

PER F. PETERSON,

University of California, Berkeley

GEOFFREY S. ROTHWELL,

Stanford University

JOHN J. TAYLOR,

NAE,

Consultant

Project Staff

JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Director,

BEES

MARTIN OFFUT, Responsible Staff Officer and Senior Program Officer (until March 2007)

MATTHEW T. BOWEN, Responsible Staff Officer and Senior Program Associate

ALAN CRANE, Senior Program Officer

PANOLA GOLSON, Program Associate (until May 2007)

LaNITA JONES, Program Associate

1

NAS, National Academy of Sciences.

2

 NAE, National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
×

BOARD ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS

DOUGLAS M. CHAPIN,

NAE,1

Chair,

MPR Associates, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia

ROBERT W. FRI, Vice Chair,

Resources for the Future (senior fellow emeritus), Washington, D.C.

RAKESH AGRAWAL,

NAE, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

ALLEN J. BARD,

NAS,2 University of Texas, Austin

ANDREW BROWN, JR.,

NAE, Delphi Corporation, West Lafayette, Indiana

MARILYN BROWN,

Georgia Institute of Technology

PHILIP R. CLARK,

NAE, GPU Nuclear Corporation (retired), Boonton, New Jersey (term ended July 31, 2007)

MICHAEL L. CORRADINI,

NAE, University of Wisconsin, Madison

PAUL DECOTIS,

New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, Albany

E. LINN DRAPER, JR.,

NAE, American Electric Power, Inc. (emeritus), Austin, Texas

CHARLES GOODMAN,

Southern Company, Birmingham, Alabama

DAVID G. HAWKINS,

Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, D.C.

JAMES MARKOWSKY,

NAE,

Consultant,

North Falmouth, Massachusetts

DAVID K. OWENS,

Edison Electric Institute, Washington, D.C.

WILLIAM F. POWERS,

NAE, Ford Motor Company (retired), Ann Arbor, Michigan

TONY PROPHET,

Carrier Corporation, Farmington, Connecticut (term ended July 31, 2007)

MICHAEL P. RAMAGE,

NAE, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (retired), Moorestown, New Jersey

MAXINE SAVITZ,

NAE, Honeywell, Inc. (retired), Los Angeles, California

PHILIP R. SHARP,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (term ended July 31, 2007)

SCOTT W. TINKER,

University of Texas, Austin

Staff

JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Director

DUNCAN BROWN, Senior Program Officer

ALAN CRANE, Senior Program Officer

JOHN HOLMES, Senior Program Officer

MARTIN OFFUTT, Senior Program Officer (until March 2007)

MADELINE WOODRUFF, Senior Program Officer

MATTHEW T. BOWEN, Senior Program Associate

DANA CAINES, Financial Associate

PANOLA GOLSON, Program Associate (until May 2007)

LaNITA JONES, Program Associate

KATHERINE BITTNER, Senior Project Assistant

JENNIFER BUTLER, Financial Assistant

1

 NAE, National Academy of Engineering

2

 NAS, National Academy of Sciences

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11998.
×

Preface

In January 2005, the FY 2006 President’s Budget Request asked for funds to be set aside for a review by the National Academy of Sciences of the nuclear energy research programs and budget at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Following passage of the FY 2006 congressional budget, the National Research Council (NRC) developed a statement of task (see Appendix F) for a “comprehensive, independent evaluation of the goals and plans of the office of Nuclear Energy (NE) at DOE, and processes for establishing program priorities and oversight (including the method for determining the relative allocation of budgetary resources).” The NRC established a committee to carry out the project, but the committee did not meet until August 24, 2006—over 18 months after the request for funds for the study.

During that interim period, DOE’s nuclear research program changed significantly with the emergence in early 2006 of a major programmatic initiative—the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). If executed as envisioned by its advocates, the GNEP program would result in the construction of commercial-scale facilities for spent fuel reprocessing and disposal by consuming the resultant plutonium and minor actinides together in advanced burner reactors, thereby reducing the radioactive burden on the waste repository. The budgetary implications of this new program were very substantial; if appropriated, the President’s Budget Request for FY 2008 would more than double the Office of Nuclear Energy research and development budget from its FY 2006 appropriations level, mostly as a result of the GNEP program.

These developments created two issues for the committee. First, the program for which the statement of task had been prepared changed significantly between the writing of the statement of task and the start of the committee’s work. Second, the dominant new program, GNEP, lacked the technical documentation, program plans, and program management organization that would ordinarily form the basis for an evaluation of program content and budget priorities. Despite these difficulties, the committee decided that the issues surrounding the design and technical approach of the GNEP program were sufficiently controversial that they could not be ignored in its review. I commend my colleagues on the committee for taking this stand and thank them for being willing to deal with the resulting frustrations of crafting a balanced evaluation of GNEP in the absence of information that would normally be available.

I wish to thank all of the committee members for the exceptional knowledge and patience they brought to this assignment. Our work probably required more of these qualities than any of us expected when we set out on this task. The support we received from the NRC staff certainly met the high standards I have come to expect of them. My appreciation especially goes to Martin Offutt, Matt Bowen, and Jim Zucchetto. Panola Golson once again made the administrative support both effective and unobtrusive.


Robert W. Fri

Chair

Committee on Review of DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program

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Acknowledgments

The Committee on Review of the DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program is grateful to the many individuals who contributed their time and effort to the National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) study. The presentations at committee meetings provided valuable information and insights. The committee thanks the following individuals who provided briefings:

Jim Bresee, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),

Richard Chandler, Office of Management and Budget,

George Davis, Westinghouse,

John Deutch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Marvin Fertel, Nuclear Energy Institute,

Timothy A. Frazier, DOE,

Ray Ganthner, AREVA,

Eugene Grecheck, Dominion Energy, Inc.,

Susan L. Harlow, DOE,

Dave Hill, Idaho National Laboratory,

R. Shane Johnson, DOE,

Rick Kingston, GE,

Dale Klein, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,

Marilyn Kray, Exelon/NuStart,

Paul Lisowski, DOE,

Owen Lowe, DOE,

Albert Machiels, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI),

Kathryn McCarthy, Idaho National Laboratory,

John C. Miller, DOE,

Tom Miller, DOE,

Dave Modeen, EPRI,

Jim Reinsch, Bechtel,

Carl Sink, DOE,

Rebecca Smith-Kevern, DOE,

Dennis Spurgeon, DOE,

John Stamos, DOE,

Joe Turnage, Constellation Energy/UniStar, and

Gary Vine, EPRI.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

John Ahearne, NAE, Sigma Xi,

Jan Beyea, Consulting in the Public Interest,

Philip R. Clark, NAE, GPU Nuclear Corporation (retired),

E. Linn Draper, Jr., NAE, American Electric Power, Inc. (emeritus),

Steve Fetter, University of Maryland,

Richard Garwin, NAS, NAE, IOM, Council on Foreign Relations,

Richard Meserve, NAE, Carnegie Institution,

Kenneth Peddicord, The Texas A&M University System,

Neil Siegel, NAE, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, and

Raymond G. Wymer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired).

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Chris Whipple of ENVIRON International Corporation. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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Tables and Figures

TABLES

S-1

 

Relative Priorities of NE R&D Programs and INL,

 

7

1-1

 

Office of Nuclear Energy Budget History FY 2003 to FY 2008,

 

11

2-1

 

New Nuclear Plant Licensing Demonstration Project Milestones,

 

17

3-1

 

End Points for Viability Phase and Performance Phase R&D, as Defined in the Generation IV Technology Roadmap,

 

33

5-1

 

Comparison of Multipurpose Laboratory Infrastructure Conditions and Uses,

 

61

5-2

 

FY 2007 Request for the Idaho Facilities Management Account,

 

62

5-3

 

FY 2007 Budget for the Idaho National Laboratory,

 

63

5-4

 

Reported FY 2006 Overall Laboratory Costs and LDRD Costs at Participating DOE Laboratories,

 

63

6-1

 

Relative Priorities of NE R&D Programs and INL,

 

68

6-2

 

Budget Recommendations for NE R&D Programs and INL,

 

69

FIGURES

5-1

 

Idaho National Laboratory strategy map,

 

60

A-1

 

GWd/MTIHM spent PWR fuel actinide and fission product decay heat,

 

74

BOX

6-1

 

University Programs,

 

68

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There has been a substantial resurgence of interest in nuclear power in the United States over the past few years. One consequence has been a rapid growth in the research budget of DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). In light of this growth, the Office of Management and Budget included within the FY2006 budget request a study by the National Academy of Sciences to review the NE research programs and recommend priorities among those programs. The programs to be evaluated were: Nuclear Power 2010 (NP 2010), Generation IV (GEN IV), the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI), the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)/Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) facilities. This book presents a description and analysis of each program along with specific findings and recommendations. It also provides an assessment of program priorities and oversight.

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